Mrs. McVeigh's Manners
a division of Elise McVeigh's Life Camps
Elise McVeigh Life Camps

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Exchanging a Gift

 Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

I have been dating someone for just a few months. He recently bought me some jewelry, and told me if I did not like it, I could return it for something else.  Do you think it actually is okay to exchange it?  I don’t want to be rude or hurt his feelings.



Dear Anonymous,

If the gentleman that you are dating said you may exchange a gift that he gave you, then etiquette says it is fine to exchange it.  I would then show him what you exchanged it for, and ask him if he likes it.  If he does not seem to like it, then you should suggest that you go back to the store together and pick something out.  Also, keep in the same price range for the exchange. 


If he is a sensitive person and you think he would be offended if you really did exchange it, then I would learn to love what he gave you, and forget about exchanging it.

Mother's Day

 Mother’s Day is a great tradition that every mom appreciates.  The key to a successful Mother’s Day is making every female in your family, who is a mom, feel like it is her special day.  This can be tough when there are multiple generations of moms in your family.  My first few Mother’s Day my husband and I had to find a way to spend the day the way I wanted to, and how to do this by not offending my mother-in-law.  My mom lives close by, and it was easy to spend time with her.  My in-laws live 45 minutes away, and packing up our babies to make small talk around their house for the day was not my idea of a fun Mother’s Day.  Finding this balance can be tough.

            For all of you dads who have wives to make happy, and moms and grandmothers to feel appreciated, here are some ideas to make the day enjoyable for everyone.  The first solution is to see if you can spend the day with your mom and/or grandmothers on the day or weekend before Mother’s Day.  You can give out flowers, gifts, and/or take them out to lunch or dinner the day you see them, and then call them on the actual day.  If this is not an option, then invite all of the moms in your life out to breakfast or brunch on Mother’s Day.  Give any cards and gifts after you eat, and then you can give your wife the opportunity to spend the rest of the day however she wants to spend it. 

Trying to make it a full day of fun and pampering for your mom or wife?  Ask the mom in your life exactly what she wants to do. It could be a day to her self, breakfast in bed, a day of shopping, a special gift, or a day at the spa.  What sounds fun to you or your children may not be what Mom really likes. Surprises can be great, but asking every mother in your family what is truly important to her will turn out to be her best Mother’s Day yet. 

A Good New Year’s Resolution – Show Good Sportsmanship

 Every year people typically set goals or have New Year’s Resolutions. One to consider is teaching your children good sportsmanship.  We have all seen the extreme cases of crazy parents who get into a knock-down, drag-out fight over a child’s ball game.  That is what those are – extreme examples.  I am talking about working with your children to help them learn good manners by demonstrating good sportsmanship in many small ways.

         Guide your child on how to show respect and appreciation to his coach(es).  This can be done by getting to the practice on time, or have your child apologize if he is late. Also have your child thank his coach after every practice and every game.

After every game and practice, encourage your child to continue or correct his interaction with his teammates.  Make sure he is not a ball hog, or does not try to steal the ball from his own teammates. Also pay attention to his words and language when in earshot.  Be aware if he is saying appropriate things, and is not harsh with criticisms of his teammates.  Redirect his winning spirit by giving him suggestions on how to encourage and motivate his teammates to succeed.

After the games, correct your child if he starts to accuse the other team or referee of cheating or being unfair.  Tell them that it sounds like they are being poor sports or poor losers.  Not every call will go their way, and it will all even out in the end.  Also make sure they are courteous to the other team’s players.  No negative verbal exchanges or unfair physical activity should be tolerated.

Lastly, the best way to teach your children good sportsmanship is to display it yourself.  Route your child on while standing on the sidelines, but try to refrain from being too obnoxious about it.  Also try to keep the conversation positive afterwards, even when you think something was unfair.  If it is obvious to your child that someone did show poor sportsmanship, then use it as a teaching opportunity to show what not to do when in that situation. 

Avoid Fights while Shopping

 Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

If you and another shopper reach for an item at the same time, who should get it?  How do you handle that situation?

Ruth Haesemeyer, Editor


Dear Ruth,

This is a problem, and often comes down to who wants to be the nicer person.  If you really want the item and are trying to be polite, perhaps you and the other shopper can find a salesperson together and ask her to help locate the same item in the stock room, or another store.  If none are available at all anywhere, then hopefully the salesperson can help settle it, or come up with a solution so both of you are happy.


Get Salespersons Attention Politely Dear Mrs. McVeigh, If a salesperson is busy with several customers, but I need assistance, what is the best way to get that person’s attention? Emily Goldstein, Design Editor Dear Emily, When trying to get a salesperso

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

If a salesperson is busy with several customers, but I need assistance, what is the best way to get that person’s attention?

Emily Goldstein, Design Editor


Dear Emily,

When trying to get a salesperson’s attention, I would touch his or her arm gently or get in her line of vision and say something like, “Sorry to interrupt, but whenever you are finished, I need help over here. I will stand here until you are finished.”  (Show the salesperson where you will wait for him or her.)  Good manners on her end would be her taking a moment to call for another salesperson so you are able to get helped faster.  

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    Nice blog to read on.Well after that,you might have some leftovers.Using leftovers isn't really that


  2. Re: Giving and Receiving Gifts

    SOOO agree with this answer. I really get tired of the 'competitiveness' of gift giving from some o


  3. Re: New Year's Resolutions - Finding the Balance in Life

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